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TERRORISM

French court charges Strasbourg gunman’s ‘accomplice’

A French anti-terrorist court has charged a man arrested for allegedly supplying a revolver used in a mass shooting at a Christmas market in Strasbourg last week, a judicial source said.

French court charges Strasbourg gunman's 'accomplice'
Photo: AFP
The 37-year-old, who was not immediately identified, was ordered to be held in detention on charges of association with a terrorist conspiracy and weapons 
possession, the source said. 
   
The man, initially arrested on Thursday, is suspected of helping to provide the pistol made at the end of the 19th century used by Cherif Chekatt, a career criminal who shot dead five people and wounded 11 at the market last Tuesday night.
 
Chekatt, who was on a list of possible extremist security risks, was shot and killed by police after a two-day manhunt in the city.
   
The alleged associate appeared before a judge in Paris, the prosecutors' office in the capital said.
 
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Death toll from Strasbourg attack rises to fivePhoto: AFP

Six other people detained in the wake of Tuesday's attack, including Chekatt's parents and two of his brothers, have been released without charge.
   
The Islamic State group claimed Chekatt was one of their “fighters”, but this was dismissed by French Interior Minister Christophe Castaner.
   
Chekatt's father, Abdelkrim, told France 2 television Saturday night that his son believed the Islamic State “fought for a good cause”.
   
“I always told him they were criminals,” his father added.
   
Had his son hinted he intended to kill people, “I would have told police about him, so that he wouldn't have killed anyone, and wouldn't have gotten himself killed,” he said.
   
Four of the five people killed in Tuesday's attack were foreigners or born abroad.
   
One was a 45-year-old Thai tourist, and another a 45-year-old Franco-Afghan garage owner who fled his country 20 years ago.
   
A 28-year-old Italian journalist, in town to cover the European parliament, was also shot and killed, as was a 36-year-old former Pole who had lived in Strasbourg for the past 20 years.
 
The dead also included a 61-year-old Frenchman who had just retired and was shot in the head as he stepped out of a restaurant.

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CRIME

Surgeon fined for trying to sell Paris terror attack victim’s x-ray

A Paris court on Wednesday convicted a surgeon for trying to sell an X-Ray image of a wounded arm of a woman who survived the 2015 terror attacks in the French capital.

Surgeon fined for trying to sell Paris terror attack victim's x-ray

Found guilty of violating medical secrecy, renowned orthopaedic surgeon Emmanuel Masmejean must pay the victim €5,000 or face two months in jail, judges ordered.

Masmejean, who works at the Georges-Pompidou hospital in western Paris, posted the image of a young woman’s forearm penetrated by a Kalashnikov bullet on marketplace Opensea in late 2021.

The site allows its roughly 20 million users to trade non-fungible tokens (NFTs) – certificates of ownership of an artwork that are stored on a “blockchain” similar to the technology used to secure cryptocurrencies.

In the file’s description, the surgeon wrote that the young woman he had operated on had “lost her boyfriend in the attack” on the Bataclan concert hall, the focus of the November 2015 gun and bomb assault in which jihadists killed 130 people.

The X-Ray image never sold for the asking price of $2,776, and was removed from Opensea after being revealed by investigative website Mediapart in January.

Masmejean claimed at a September court hearing that he had been carrying out an “experiment” by putting a “striking and historic medical image” online – while acknowledging that it had been “idiocy, a mistake, a blunder”.

The court did not find him guilty of two further charges of abuse of personal data and illegally revealing harmful personal information.

Nor was he barred from practicing as prosecutors had urged, with the lead judge saying it would be “disproportionate and inappropriate” to inflict such a “social death” on the doctor.

The victim’s lawyer Elodie Abraham complained of a “politically correct” judgement.

“It doesn’t bother anyone that there’s been such a flagrant breach of medical secrecy. It’s not a good message for doctors,” Abraham said.

Neither Masmejean, who has been suspended from his hospital job, nor the victim were present for Wednesday’s ruling.

The surgeon may yet face professional consequences after appearing before the French medical association in September, his lawyer Ivan Terel said.

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